Best Colleges in Washington

Washington College Guide – What You Need to Know

Washington is a cornerstone of the nation's tech and cultural life. This is the state that birthed Amazon, Microsoft, and Starbucks, all in the same city. Though their founders may have been educated elsewhere, they relied on their local area to provide the talent they need to thrive. Further, since these companies have risen to prominence, they have donated millions to local educational and cultural institutions while employing countless students.

You can take advantage of this economic boon by seeking out the best colleges and universities in Washington. The state offers some of the nation's premier research universities, fantastically eclectic small public colleges, and much more. Plus, if you live in a western state, you may be able to attend a Washington state institution for the in-state tuition. Likewise, Washington students can attend any public college on the West Coast, Hawaii, Alaska, and even states as far inland as North Dakota, at the in-state rate.

While the economy in Seattle has been booming for quite some time, it is poised to spread the wealth to other parts of the state. Spokane has been undergoing strong growth lately, and you'll also find new opportunities around Richland, and Yakima.

What are the most popular bachelor's degrees offered in Washington?

Washington's diverse, growing economy is full of bright, forward-thinking individuals who place a high value on education. When state residents look to the hub of the state's economic growth, Seattle, it's obvious that an excellent academic background is the key to success. As it happens the state is home to some of the top colleges and universities, where you can study pretty much any subject you prefer. Washingtonians, however, have their favorites, and you'll find excellent departments to cater to your intellectual preferences.

Washington has cutting edge departments in these top degree fields:

How Much Can You Make by Having a Degree Washington


NO FORMAL EDUCATION HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA ASSOCIATE DEGREE BACHELOR’S DEGREE MASTER’S DEGREE DOCTORAL DEGREE
$30,784* $38,792* $46,124* $64,896* $77,844* $96,772*

Best 2 Year Associate Degree Colleges in Washington


Earning a two-year associate degree can provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary to jumpstart your career in many in-demand fields. It can also make attaining an advanced degree more affordable, as credits can often be easily transferred to an undergraduate institution within the state. Applying to one of these excellent associate degree programs available in Washington will open a number of doors leading to both academic and career success. Graduates will have the knowledge and skills necessary to apply for entry-level positions, as well as other advanced degree programs.

Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building
College Type
2-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
39
Graduation Rate
100%
Net Price
$22,234
Perry Technical Institute
College Type
2-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
954
Graduation Rate
84%
Net Price
$15,634
Pima Medical Institute-Renton
College Type
2-year, Private for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
717
Graduation Rate
76%
Net Price
$26,360
Carrington College-Spokane
College Type
2-year, Private for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
386
Graduation Rate
71%
Net Price
$24,579
Pima Medical Institute-Seattle
College Type
2-year, Private for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
577
Graduation Rate
66%
Net Price
$25,660
Renton Technical College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
3,755
Graduation Rate
63%
Net Price
$7,431
Bates Technical College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
4,377
Graduation Rate
46%
Net Price
$5,522
Peninsula College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
1,966
Graduation Rate
46%
Net Price
$6,262
Charter College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Private for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
2,474
Graduation Rate
43%
Net Price
$29,502
Big Bend Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
2,131
Graduation Rate
40%
Net Price
$6,880
Centralia College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
3,077
Graduation Rate
40%
Net Price
$8,412
Walla Walla Community College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
3,671
Graduation Rate
40%
Net Price
$6,795
South Puget Sound Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
4,974
Graduation Rate
39%
Net Price
$7,051
Green River College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
8,435
Graduation Rate
38%
Net Price
$8,198
Lower Columbia College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
2,703
Graduation Rate
38%
Net Price
$6,363
Whatcom Community College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
4,152
Graduation Rate
37%
Net Price
$8,111
Clover Park Technical College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
3,973
Graduation Rate
35%
Net Price
$6,531
Everett Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
7,977
Graduation Rate
35%
Net Price
$9,237
Cascadia College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
3,387
Graduation Rate
34%
Net Price
$9,488
Wenatchee Valley College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
3,352
Graduation Rate
34%
Net Price
$7,854
Highline College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
6,310
Graduation Rate
33%
Net Price
$8,472
Pierce College-Puyallup
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
4,566
Graduation Rate
33%
Net Price
$8,813
Seattle Central College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
6,743
Graduation Rate
33%
Net Price
$4,434
Shoreline Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
5,884
Graduation Rate
33%
Net Price
$7,725
South Seattle College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
6,141
Graduation Rate
33%
Net Price
$8,831
Bellingham Technical College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
2,325
Graduation Rate
32%
Net Price
$6,787
Clark College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
9,233
Graduation Rate
31%
Net Price
$8,033
Columbia Basin College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
7,280
Graduation Rate
28%
Net Price
$9,925
Edmonds Community College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
7,877
Graduation Rate
28%
Net Price
$8,426
Lake Washington Institute of Technology
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
3,620
Graduation Rate
28%
Net Price
$7,153
Skagit Valley College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
5,085
Graduation Rate
28%
Net Price
$8,564
Yakima Valley College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
4,650
Graduation Rate
28%
Net Price
$8,091
Bellevue College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
12,563
Graduation Rate
27%
Net Price
$8,828
Grays Harbor College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
1,853
Graduation Rate
27%
Net Price
$7,221
Pierce College-Fort Steilacoom
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
6,195
Graduation Rate
27%
Net Price
$7,984
Spokane Community College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
10,225
Graduation Rate
26%
Net Price
$5,714
Tacoma Community College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
6,095
Graduation Rate
26%
Net Price
$7,127
North Seattle College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
5,693
Graduation Rate
25%
Net Price
$5,817
Olympic College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
6,278
Graduation Rate
24%
Net Price
$7,730
Spokane Falls Community College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
5,023
Graduation Rate
24%
Net Price
$6,135
Northwest Indian College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
594
Graduation Rate
19%
Net Price
$8,616
Full Ranking Report

Best 4 Year Bachelor's Degree Colleges in Washington


Many of the four-year institutions in Washington offer a wide assortment of programs designed to provide the knowledge and skills you need to enter the field of your dreams. Choosing one of the state’s top-rated colleges or universities will provide you with the edge you need in a competitive job market, regardless of your concentration. Not only will you be prepared to apply for employment right away, but you will have the credits and experience necessary to enroll in more advanced degree programs as well.

Whitman College
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
1,579
Graduation Rate
90%
Net Price
$41,822
Seattle Film Institute
College Type
4-year, Private for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
106
Graduation Rate
86%
Net Price
$45,731
Gonzaga University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
7,537
Graduation Rate
85%
Net Price
$36,578
University of Washington-Seattle Campus
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
47,576
Graduation Rate
84%
Net Price
$10,692
University of Puget Sound
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
2,608
Graduation Rate
76%
Net Price
$39,011
Whitworth University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
2,814
Graduation Rate
75%
Net Price
$26,249
Seattle University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
7,199
Graduation Rate
74%
Net Price
$35,569
Pacific Lutheran University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
3,062
Graduation Rate
69%
Net Price
$25,362
University of Washington-Bothell Campus
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
5,913
Graduation Rate
69%
Net Price
$9,469
Seattle Pacific University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
3,529
Graduation Rate
68%
Net Price
$27,947
Western Washington University
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
16,142
Graduation Rate
68%
Net Price
$17,728
Saint Martin's University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
1,629
Graduation Rate
67%
Net Price
$24,596
Renton Technical College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
3,755
Graduation Rate
63%
Net Price
$7,431
Walla Walla University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
1,831
Graduation Rate
61%
Net Price
$22,135
Washington State University
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
31,607
Graduation Rate
60%
Net Price
$18,002
Central Washington University
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
11,658
Graduation Rate
58%
Net Price
$16,014
Northwest University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
1,339
Graduation Rate
58%
Net Price
$22,010
DigiPen Institute of Technology
College Type
4-year, Private for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
1,174
Graduation Rate
56%
Net Price
$34,874
University of Washington-Tacoma Campus
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
5,329
Graduation Rate
56%
Net Price
$10,620
Cornish College of the Arts
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
599
Graduation Rate
54%
Net Price
$39,093
Eastern Washington University
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
12,410
Graduation Rate
54%
Net Price
$12,764
Northwest College of Art & Design
College Type
4-year, Private for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
95
Graduation Rate
52%
Net Price
$18,673
The Evergreen State College
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
2,854
Graduation Rate
50%
Net Price
$14,909
Peninsula College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
1,966
Graduation Rate
46%
Net Price
$6,262
Charter College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Private for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
2,474
Graduation Rate
43%
Net Price
$29,502
Heritage University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
971
Graduation Rate
41%
Net Price
$9,255
Centralia College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
3,077
Graduation Rate
40%
Net Price
$8,412
Faith International University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
230
Graduation Rate
40%
Net Price
$16,217
Walla Walla Community College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
3,671
Graduation Rate
40%
Net Price
$6,795
Green River College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
8,435
Graduation Rate
38%
Net Price
$8,198
Whatcom Community College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
4,152
Graduation Rate
37%
Net Price
$8,111
Clover Park Technical College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
3,973
Graduation Rate
35%
Net Price
$6,531
Cascadia College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
3,387
Graduation Rate
34%
Net Price
$9,488
Wenatchee Valley College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
3,352
Graduation Rate
34%
Net Price
$7,854
City University of Seattle
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
1,960
Graduation Rate
33%
Net Price
NA
Highline College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
6,310
Graduation Rate
33%
Net Price
$8,472
Seattle Central College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
6,743
Graduation Rate
33%
Net Price
$4,434
South Seattle College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
6,141
Graduation Rate
33%
Net Price
$8,831
Bellingham Technical College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
2,325
Graduation Rate
32%
Net Price
$6,787
Clark College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
9,233
Graduation Rate
31%
Net Price
$8,033
Columbia Basin College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
7,280
Graduation Rate
28%
Net Price
$9,925
Edmonds Community College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
7,877
Graduation Rate
28%
Net Price
$8,426
Lake Washington Institute of Technology
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
3,620
Graduation Rate
28%
Net Price
$7,153
Skagit Valley College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
5,085
Graduation Rate
28%
Net Price
$8,564
Yakima Valley College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
4,650
Graduation Rate
28%
Net Price
$8,091
Bellevue College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
12,563
Graduation Rate
27%
Net Price
$8,828
Grays Harbor College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
1,853
Graduation Rate
27%
Net Price
$7,221
Pierce College-Fort Steilacoom
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
6,195
Graduation Rate
27%
Net Price
$7,984
Spokane Community College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
10,225
Graduation Rate
26%
Net Price
$5,714
Tacoma Community College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
6,095
Graduation Rate
26%
Net Price
$7,127
North Seattle College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
5,693
Graduation Rate
25%
Net Price
$5,817
Olympic College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
6,278
Graduation Rate
24%
Net Price
$7,730
Spokane Falls Community College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
5,023
Graduation Rate
24%
Net Price
$6,135
Northwest Indian College
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
594
Graduation Rate
19%
Net Price
$8,616
University of Phoenix-Washington
College Type
4-year, Private for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
23
Graduation Rate
17%
Net Price
NA
Antioch University-Seattle
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
758
Graduation Rate
0%
Net Price
NA
Bastyr University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
994
Graduation Rate
NA
Net Price
NA
Northwest University-College of Adult and Professional Studies
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
1,130
Graduation Rate
NA
Net Price
$26,033
Whitworth University-Adult Degree Programs
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
275
Graduation Rate
NA
Net Price
NA
Full Ranking Report

Best Advanced and Master's Degree Colleges in Washington


The state of Washington has a lot to offer students seeking advanced degrees in a variety of fields, from business and law to medicine and engineering. Continuing your education not only enhances your employment prospects but it also provides you with the knowledge and skills necessary to thrive as a leader in the industry. Master’s and doctoral degree graduates also tend make more money, qualify for additional career advancement opportunities, and enjoy enhanced job security.

Seattle Film Institute
College Type
4-year, Private for-Profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
26
Graduation Rate
86%
Net Price
$45,731
Gonzaga University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-Profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
2,326
Graduation Rate
85%
Net Price
$36,578
University of Washington-Seattle Campus
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
15,530
Graduation Rate
84%
Net Price
$10,692
University of Puget Sound
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-Profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
309
Graduation Rate
76%
Net Price
$39,011
Whitworth University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-Profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
397
Graduation Rate
75%
Net Price
$26,249
Seattle University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-Profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
2,566
Graduation Rate
74%
Net Price
$35,569
Pacific Lutheran University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-Profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
367
Graduation Rate
69%
Net Price
$25,362
University of Washington-Bothell Campus
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
563
Graduation Rate
69%
Net Price
$9,469
Seattle Pacific University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-Profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
812
Graduation Rate
68%
Net Price
$27,947
Western Washington University
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
902
Graduation Rate
68%
Net Price
$17,728
Saint Martin's University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-Profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
240
Graduation Rate
67%
Net Price
$24,596
Walla Walla University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-Profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
181
Graduation Rate
61%
Net Price
$22,135
Washington State University
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
5,545
Graduation Rate
60%
Net Price
$18,002
Central Washington University
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
547
Graduation Rate
58%
Net Price
$16,014
Northwest University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
392
Graduation Rate
58%
Net Price
$22,010
DigiPen Institute of Technology
College Type
4-year, Private for-Profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
90
Graduation Rate
56%
Net Price
$34,874
University of Washington-Tacoma Campus
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
741
Graduation Rate
56%
Net Price
$10,620
Cornish College of the Arts
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-Profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
0
Graduation Rate
54%
Net Price
$39,093
Eastern Washington University
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
1,654
Graduation Rate
54%
Net Price
$12,764
The Evergreen State College
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
278
Graduation Rate
50%
Net Price
$14,909
Heritage University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-Profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
144
Graduation Rate
41%
Net Price
$9,255
Faith International University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-Profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
129
Graduation Rate
40%
Net Price
$16,217
City University of Seattle
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-Profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
1,153
Graduation Rate
33%
Net Price
NA
University of Phoenix-Washington
College Type
4-year, Private for-Profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
1
Graduation Rate
17%
Net Price
NA
Antioch University-Seattle
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-Profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
662
Graduation Rate
0%
Net Price
NA
Bastyr University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-Profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
839
Graduation Rate
NA
Net Price
NA
Northwest University-College of Adult and Professional Studies
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
116
Graduation Rate
NA
Net Price
$26,033
Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-Profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
576
Graduation Rate
NA
Net Price
NA
Seattle Institute of East Asian Medicine
College Type
4-year, Private for-Profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
34
Graduation Rate
NA
Net Price
NA
The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-Profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
258
Graduation Rate
NA
Net Price
NA
Full Ranking Report

Best Online Degree Colleges in Washington (Distance Learning Only)


Earning a traditional, on-campus degree can be difficult, but many Washington state colleges and universities make it easy for students to achieve their academic and professional goals regardless of their situation. Many of the state’s top institutions offer distance learning options with affordable rates and flexible scheduling. Whether you intend to pursue an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate degree, you will be able to find a program that aligns with your unique needs. Whatever your circumstances are, an online degree can help you land the career of your dreams.

Colorado Technical University
College Type
4-year, Private for-Profit
Student Population
27,232
Graduation Rate
26%
Net Price
$16,260
Ashford